Robbery by far the most common motive for work-related homicides

April 12, 2000

Homicides accounted for 709 (12 percent) of the 6,026 fatal work-related injuries in 1998.

Percent distribution of work-related homicides by known victim-perpetrator association, 1998
[Chart data—TXT]

While many may assume that most work-related homicides are crimes of passion or anger, committed by disgruntled coworkers, spouses, or acquaintances, this is not the case. Of the 428 homicide cases in 1998 where the victim-perpetrator association could be identified, fully two-thirds involved robbery.

Coworkers and former coworkers accounted for 15 percent of identifiable cases of workplace homicide, acquaintances for 7 percent, and relatives for 4 percent. Together, these three categories accounted for barely a quarter of the total.

Data on workplace fatalities are from the BLS Safety and Health Statistics program. To learn more about work-related fatalities, see "Work-related Homicides: The Facts" (PDF 76K), by Eric Sygnatur and Guy A. Toscano, Compensation and Working Conditions, Spring 2000. Numbers in chart do not add to 100 percent due to rounding.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Robbery by far the most common motive for work-related homicides on the Internet at (visited September 28, 2016).


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